Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Questions to myself for an upcoming project that are not meant to induce anxiety, but create space.


Does it feel like it HAS to happen?

Does it at least dare to be weird?

Does it capture this moment?

Does it come from a place of love?

Does it glow or is it weighted down and heavy?


Can you hear it, even when you've left the room?

Was it a good use of 6 months?

Would someone else vouch for it? For ownership?

Is it free to leave under its own will?

Is it part of something bigger? Can you speak of it's power?


Did you do it for the right reasons?

What is actually happening? Can you use that?

Can you explain it in two sentences?

Is it framed appropriately? Does something need to be lopped off?

Can you phone a friend?


Sunday, January 3, 2016

To Hell with New Years Resolutions, how about some New Years Self-Reflections?

For some reason I'm in the mood for rethinking the concept of a 'personality test' and 'new years goals' and the whole 'goodbye 2015, hello 2016'.

What if Talk Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and a penchant for locating and attacking neoliberal policy is still as productive as even before they had such catchy names? How do we figure out how to keep moving when it seems that time passes us by?

I've always been interested in how tech savvy infographic folks would approach illustrating time based on moments of personal and societal improvements. Or maybe it's just a question about bringing to the imagination qualitative data over quantitative, which was a particular specialty of Oliver Sacks.

I wanted to get my brain moving again, so I ate breakfast, had a long conversation with Rach's mom, made plans to meet with friend later, took a walk, made a reminder to send off something to Weiwen before the end of the day and tried to finish this entry.

I don't think I'm looking for improvement, I'm looking for acceptance steeped in just as much time as I put into worrying about what I think I don't know. I'm also not going to worry for the moment, that I am going to be extremely self-centered for this mental exercise, I'd like to meander from the self and back.

New Years Self-Reflections:

What would it look like if you took broad aspects of your personality,
attributed them to a greater group (for better or worse),
and then arranged them from most relatable to least relatable ?
(that is, according to how well you fit even your own selected categories.  This could be better simplified to ranging from what one struggles with the most, to what one struggles with the least.)

This is what I came up with:
A. I have ADHD
B. I am an American
C. Male
D. My parents are wealthy 
Any surprises?

I came to this exercise starting from the back forward. Initially I felt like I had put off trying to write about all the unique kinds of thoughts that I believe I have because I am diagnosed with ADHD, for example do I feel more comfortable writing lists because I'm ADHD or is it possibly even a particularly American thing? It opened up a can of worms that now I can't stop playing with.

So now, word association. 

Starting with a gut feeling of being critical, then moving onwards to giving things an ultimate 'benefit-of-the-doubt', leading to a semi-objective stance, and doing it again with slightly more nuance each time, I wanted to see if this would go somewhere. It definitely brought up past conversation that I appreciated... but it also reminded me of some of my goals, hopes and desires.

This seems much more like an interesting way to look back on the year.

Word association:

1. With negative attributions

ADHD - Medicated

American - Prison/Military-Industrial Complex
Male - Aggressive
Wealth - Self-Protective

2. With positive attributions

ADHD - Creativity

American - Aspirations
Male - Confidence
Wealth - Travelling

3. With neutral attributions

ADHD - Symptoms

American - Post-modern
Male - Privileged
Wealth - Tools

4. With associations that others believe are essential, but do not interest me personally

ADHD - Expertise
American - An experiment in capitalism / power
Male - Athleticism & Power

Wealth - The 1%

5. With things that currently fascinate me

ADHD - Coping mechanisms

American - Counter, hybrid and sub-cultures
Male - How to get out of the way and support feminism
Wealth - Effective Altruism

6. With things that are difficult for anybody, not just myself to avoid
ADHD - All or Nothing

American - Consumption
Male - Self-importance / Not listening enough
Wealth - Conservatism

7. With what is at stake for me personally

ADHD - Depression & Anxiety
American - A livable life for me and others
Male - The desire to be heard and understood
Wealth - Relationships and Responsibility

8. With things that may have formed my core beliefs

ADHD - The Myth of Laziness
American - Not sure... maybe Adbusters?
Male - Perhaps growing up as a younger brother
Wealth - Predictably Irrational

9. With further research in general

ADHD - The lack of clear definition
American - History
Male - Feminism is for Everybody!
Wealth - Wealth inequality is everyone's problem, just like climate change.

Ok, I've spent too much time inside the house, ya gotta get out of there!